Weekend Report – July 5th

Before I quickly run (pun intended) through what OAC members got up to last week and before Brian posts his report covering the club’s more recent adventures I have to make an addition to the results from the previous week.

It appears that Orangegrover and regular subject of NiRunning’s news, Verity Cornford, ran the fourth and final race in the EAH Forest Series at Woodburn Forest on 23rd June under the alias of Stephen Watson (Unattached).

Having now studied the photographic evidence and spoken with a number of impartial witnesses I can now confirm that Verity DID indeed participate, completing the course in 37mins21 seconds (96th/171) – well done and apologies for this oversight.

When I was recently flicking through the results on the NiRunning site I discovered, completely by chance and totally without being tipped off by another member, that our very own Leann Gibson was 21st out of a field of 210 entrants in the recent North Coast 10k with a time of 42:58.3. The race was won by Richard Johnston in 35:34.7 congratulations Leann on this great result.

The first in a series of afternoon training sessions kicked off at the Mary Peters Track on Friday 3rd July, the sessions are designed mainly for OAC Juniors but are open to all members who wish to make use of the track. A good turnout of members made the most of the sunshine and the expert coaching – this looks set to be a very useful and popular addition to the OAC programme.

Saturday 4th July saw 237 runners descend on Comber for the inaugural Mash Direct Comber Potato Run 10k – organised by Ballydrain Harriers. Read the full report here.

I also want to mention a local sporting legend who recently sustained a leg injury, not Rory McIlroy but Orangegrove’s Hugh Young, who although on crutches cheered on his better half Paula plus his OAC colleagues during the Comber 10k – we wish Hugh a full and speedy recovery.

Meanwhile on the other side of the Atlantic Chris Downey started his Independence Day off in style at the Reston Firecracker 5k in Virginia. Chris battled through intense heat and heavy rain to complete the course in a time of 20:08, coming 87th out of a packed field of 1700 runners, an excellent result.

Victoria Park parkrun continues to pull in the crowds. The event could not happen without our wonderful volunteers, new helpers are always welcome and with many of the regular marshalls being on their well-deserved holidays over the next few weeks now is the perfect time to get involved. Simply register your interest on the parkrun website: www.parkrun.org.uk/belfastvictoria/volunteer/

You know the score: No volunteers, no parkrun!

Also, if you are an Orangegrove member and are interested in helping out with the club itself as it continues to grow please speak with a member of the committee. Volunteering is good for you, FACT. If you don’t believe me maybe you’ll believe this guy: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/get-inspired/33131904

The Energia 24 Hour Race is just around the corner, the event kicks off at 6.45pm on Friday 17 July at the Mary Peters Track and as it says on the tin finishes 24 hours later!

This is the climax of weeks of gruelling training for the members of the OAC relay team; Eleanor, Martin, Robin and Stephen. All support and encouragement for the event itself and any remaining training is really appreciated and I would encourage any members with a few minutes to spare to head down to the MPT to cheer on the Orangegrove team.

Speaking of relays I am delighted to now pass the baton back to Brian Todd for the next report – which is probably due any minute!

Thanks to Liz Watt, Paul Edgar, Norman Mawhinney/Ballydrain Harriers and NiRunning for the pictures.

Whatever you are planning over the holidays enjoy and until next time – keeeeeep running!